Phylogenetics of Mycoplasma hominis clinical strains associated with gynecological infections or infertility as disclosed by an expanded multilocus sequence typing scheme

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 5;8(1):14854. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33260-x.


To our knowledge, the phylodistribution of M. hominis clinical strains associated with various pathological conditions of the urogenital tract has not been explored hitherto. Here we analyzed the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among 59 M. hominis Tunisian clinical isolates, categorized as gynecological infections- or infertility-associated pathotypes. For this purpose, we developed an expanded multilocus sequence typing (eMLST) scheme, combining the previously reported multilocus sequence typing (MLST) loci (gyrB, tuf, ftsY, uvrA, gap) with a new selected set of putative virulence genes (p120', vaa, lmp1, lmp3, p60), referred herein to as multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST) loci. In doing so, M. hominis population was segregated into two distinct genetic lineages, which were differentially associated with each pathotype. Such a clear dichotomy was supported by several phylogenetic and population genetic analysis tools. Recombination was found to take place, but not sufficient enough to break down the overall clonal population structure of M. hominis, most likely as a result of purifying selection, which accommodated the most fit clones. In sum, and owing to the eMLST scheme described herein, we provide insightful data on the phylogenetics of M. hominis, arguing for the existence of genetically differentiable urogenital pathotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / microbiology*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / microbiology*
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing / methods*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / microbiology*
  • Mycoplasma hominis / classification*
  • Mycoplasma hominis / genetics
  • Mycoplasma hominis / pathogenicity
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins